Ping G15 (Draw)
When I finally decided to update my clubs, I wanted to start with the one that was giving me (and most of us) the biggest headache; the driver. After a long search, and several test swings at Dicks, Dukes and all points in between, I was able to settle on what I thought would be the best driver for me; the PING G15 (Draw) driver. This was given to me for father’s day (after my telling the concerned parties EXACTLY where to go and what to get) It has a standard flex shaft, which I have since been told is too much flex for me. Apparently, the better I get at this game, the more powerful my swing is. I don’t plan on updating my driver until next year anyway, so for now, I just purposely slow down my driver take and swing in an effort to keep the clubface square. The ball LAUNCHES off the face of it, and if there is one thing I love about it over the rest of those I’ve tested is the feedback. You know, not only by feel, but sound exactly when you hit it pure. Same goes for when you don’t hit it that pure… Shaft length is 45″.
Callaway Diablo 3W
This is the most recent addition to my bag. I was for the longest time using a Taylor Made Burner 2.0 3W. A few times on the course, by golfing buddy would use it and smack the crap out of it. So much so that he made me an offer. I can honestly say, it wasn’t the money but the fact that he hit it so well that I agreed to sell it to him. This gave me the perfect excuse to go get a matching 3W for my Driver that I love so much… This is where my impatient disposition got the best of me. I wanted the Ping G15 3W. I knew the make and the feel based off of my Driver, and of course I test drove it at the local PING retailers. NOT ONE of them had any in stock, and no way was I willing to wait for it to be delivered. So after some more test swings and discussions with the fine gents at those same retailers, I gave the Callaway Diablo a whirl (for brand loyalty reasons… stick with me, you’ll see the rest). As I said before, a standard flex is too soft for me, so they set me up with a stiff flex on this Wood. I hit it very well off the grass, but I’m still trying to get the fine art of a 3W off the tee for some reason, it eludes me. I break it out only on Par 5’s or when I’ve hit a really sh$*ty drive and have to get off the grass just past the ladies tees. When I do use it, I’m hitting it more or less about 220, which for my skill level is apparently acceptable. Now, I like the club, but I’m not in LOVE with it… know what I mean? In hindsight… I should have been patient for my G15.
Callaway Diablo Edge 4-AW, 3 Hybrid, Standard Shaft on the Irons, Graphite standard flex on the Hybrid:
Again, after deciding to update my bag to get big boy clubs, Irons was the next in line. These, well capitalism and the media got to me on this. These were the GOLD badge winner for that year in Golf Digest for “Super Game Improvement Irons”. At the time (and let’s be honest, presently) I required irons with less workability, and more forgiveness. A good MOI for whacking the ball, as I didn’t have a good swing at the time. I went to DICK’s and tested these and another set (memory escapes me as to what it was). Again, I wanted the G15’s to match my driver, and yet AGAIN I didn’t want to get fitted / patient enough to know better. I didn’t necessarily settle on these irons though, as next to the G15’s, they are indeed what I wanted. I love the feel of them, the feedback and the travel. For a super game improvement iron, I have found that I’m able to shape my shots, now that I know a little how to do that. Now, I’m not nearly good enough to sacrifice the forgiveness for the ability to pull off Bubba’s shot at the Masters, (let me dream, ok), so for the immediate future, these are going to remain the irons in my bag. Only once did I get angry at them, but it was my fault, and my six iron has a pretty new true temper shaft to show for it. I have promised myself that once I’m consistently in the low 90’s (and no 100’s for six months) that I’ll upgrade to a new set. Probably, now that I know the game a bit more, I’ll get fitted and wait for a proper set… whether that’s the PING’s or not, remains to be seen.
Callaway Diablo PW and AW (came with set), Cleveland CG16 60 degree LW:
I’m still on the pursuit of mastering my short / scrambling game, that said I have only started to really pay attention to my wedges in the past year or so. The Cleveland LW was a Christmas gift after I asked for “the best 60 I can get” This is what my wife got me, and from what I can gather, she did a decent job. I do like the loft of the club, but let’s be honest, it’s for green side bunkers only. Like most kids with a new toy, as soon as I got this club, I wanted to use it for EVERYTHING… needless to say, my scores suffered dramatically. Now after the newness and novelty has worn off, I use it only when the occasion calls for it. The wedge itself slices nicely through turf, sand and rough. When I do hit it thin, it’s a bad bad BAD thing, but when struck right, the ball sails high, straight and true. Stops on a dime, and even this high 90 golfer can get backspin on a green from time to time. Going with a 60 may be too much for a lot of golfers, but for me, I’m totally cool with it. The PW and the AW are 52 and 56 degrees respectively.
Odyssey White Hot XG Teron
I originally had a PING (notice a theme here?) iSeries Half Moon Putter. I wasn’t hitting the ball that well with it, and even though I liked the feel and the feedback, I didn’t like the scores associated with it. Like most novice golfers, I thought the issue was with the equipment, and not me… so I sold it and purchased the Teron, almost on looks alone. I mean, it looks like a medieval weapon! Take this bad boy out of the bag and I guarantee you the question will be asked, “is that a putter or a weapon?”. Now, one of the benefits is that I did indeed get a better putting stroke out of it, as it’s a mallet head vs. the blade of the PING. The mallet had a better balance and gave me a smoother stroke. My first round with it, I shot a life changing 45 on the front nine… the rest of the story isn’t so glamorous. But the putter was ON that day. Be it mental or not, it sold itself into my heart. I did have it shortened not too long ago to allow me to get ‘over’ the ball, but I’m starting to fear that it was shortened to much. I love the putter and it’s helped me make some money putts… but I may need to upgrade in order to save my back.
I updated my grips after a year of play on all my clubs except my new 3W. I went with the Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound Hybrids. Blue. Really like how my glove hand feels with these grips, and yet the tack of the rubber on the right hand is just about right. Very durable, and after a whip down with some soap and water, they feel like new. Good Tack. On my putter I have a Winn oversized putter grip. Very soft, yet good feel. I like that the larger grip keeps my wrist from getting too busy during putts.
A buddy of mine gave me a box of Bridgestone e6 Optic Yellows about a year ago. I haven’t looked back. While pricy for a hack / consistent ball looser, I do like that being color blind, I can SEE them much better than a white ball in the air and on the course. Good feel, and enough workability that I can continue to use them as my game slowly improves. Great compression and the flat out FLY off of the club face.